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Would it be possible to contain a surfactant in a thin membrane or capsule of some sort so that it does not mix with water, while still allowing it to interact with water (to lower the surface tension of water)? If so, how would that be done?
Thank you so much for your help!
Question Date: 2011-02-12
Answer 1:

No, it wouldn't. Although you could use a very fine dialysis membrane to allow water to flow in and out of a bag containing surfactant, surfactants only cause changes in properties (like surface tension) when they are dispersed at the interface-- the water tension inside the bag would change, but since the surfactant is trapped inside, the water outside the bag would behave normally. Only if surfactant molecules were free to mingle at the water/air interface would a change in surface tension be seen.

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